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BSc Optometry / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

Our BSc Optometry course will enable you to discover the scientific principles that underpin optometry, including the properties of light, the anatomy of the eye and the processing of vision in the brain.

We have strong links with Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, where you can take advantage of a one-week clinical placement and attend regular specialist clinics in your final year.

Students graduating with a BSc degree are usually able to register as an optometrist after a one year pre-registration placement. In order to progress to the pre-registration year you will need to achieve a 2:2, to demonstrate all of the GOC core competencies and maintain GOC student registration throughout your studies. You will need to secure your own pre-registration placement and ensure you have the appropriate visa (details can be found here ).

Some students are able to enrol onto our unique four-year undergraduate Master of Science in Optometry course. Graduates of this course do not need to undertake a pre-registration year and can automatically register to practice as an optometrist with the General Optical Council on successful graduation.

Special features

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
Obtain unique practical experience at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

Unique clinical experience

Gain experience at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital - one of Europe's biggest eye teaching hospitals - to learn about the management and treatment of eye disease.

Early patient contact

Start to meet patients in the second semester of Year 1.

Close-knit student cohort

Join the active student-run Optometry Society to take part in formal and informal social activities.

Integrated master's option

Our undergraduate four year Master of Science (MSci) gives you the chance to complete an integrated master's where successful students do not need to undertake the pre-registration year. This leads to direct registration with the General Optical Council.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, clinics and practical sessions. You will have around 20 hours of formally timetabled lectures and practical sessions every week.

Find out more about teaching and learning in optometry , including a typical Year 1 timetable.

Coursework and assessment

Units completed within a semester will be assessed at the end of that semester by a combination of coursework, practical examination and written examination.

Subjects taught throughout the year will be examined at the end of the second semester.

The final degree classification is based on marks obtained during all years of the course, weighted as follows:

  • Year 1 - 10%
  • Year 2 - 30%
  • Year 3 - 60%.

Course content for year 1

You will be introduced to the scientific principles that underpin optometry including the properties of light, the anatomy of the eye and the processing of vision in the brain. You will also learn about ophthalmic appliances such as lenses and instrumentation such as retinoscopes.

The clinical element of the course will introduce you to general eye examination techniques that you will initially carry out on fellow students followed by volunteer patients in Semester 2.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Personal & Professional Development A OPTO10100 10 Mandatory
Geometrical Optics OPTO10151 10 Mandatory
Functional Anatomy of the Eye OPTO10171 10 Mandatory
Optometric Examination A OPTO10190 30 Mandatory
Dispensing A OPTO10291 10 Mandatory
Physical Optics OPTO10312 10 Mandatory
Visual Neurophysiology & Fundamentals of Visual Perception OPTO10361 10 Mandatory
Anatomy and Physiology for Health Care Professionals II OPTO10392 10 Mandatory
Anatomy and Physiology for Health Care Professionals I OPTO10492 10 Mandatory
Mathematics for Optometry OPTO10910 10 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

You will cover a range of new topics including human disease processes, pharmacology, contact lens practice and binocular vision. You will also further develop your knowledge of ophthalmic appliances, and optometric instrumentation.

The clinical element of the course will develop your skills so that you will have the confidence to examine members of the public under supervision by the end of the year.

You will spend a week in the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital on a full-time placement during the vacation between the second and third years of the course. This provides a wealth of clinical experience in a hospital department.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dispensing B OPTO20080 10 Mandatory
Instrumentation OPTO20091 10 Mandatory
Optometric Examination B OPTO20102 20 Mandatory
Personal & Professional Development B OPTO20200 10 Mandatory
Vision in the Real World OPTO20282 10 Mandatory
Visual Optics OPTO20292 10 Mandatory
Binocular Vision A OPTO20361 10 Mandatory
Contact Lenses A OPTO20372 10 Mandatory
Pharmacology A OPTO20391 10 Mandatory
Visual Psychophysics and Neurophysiology OPTO20621 10 Mandatory
Ocular Health & Disease Mechanisms OPTO21391 10 Mandatory
Clinical Methodology 1 OPTO22051 0 Mandatory
Clinical Methodology 2 OPTO22062 0 Mandatory
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

An even greater emphasis is placed upon the clinical element of your course during your final year. You will have several clinics each week including contact lenses, low vision, paediatric and orthoptic clinics - some of which take place at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

You will carry out a placement at a local optometric practice, and visit the refractive surgery facilities of a leading eye-care organisation.

New topics are introduced in your final-year lectures, including a unit on legal and professional skills. You will be supported to apply clinical and scientific research to patient management through our evidence based practice unit.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Clinical Practical Sessions OPTO30200 40 Mandatory
Binocular Vision B OPTO30222 10 Mandatory
Low Vision OPTO30410 10 Mandatory
Pharmacology B: Ocular Pharmacology OPTO30612 10 Mandatory
Contact Lenses B OPTO30651 10 Mandatory
Ocular Disease OPTO30891 10 Mandatory
Personal & Professional Development C OPTO31200 10 Mandatory
Emerging Optometry OPTO31222 10 Mandatory
Evidence Based Optometric Practice OPTO31250 10 Mandatory

What our students say

I have always wanted to be an optometrist, and am absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity to study at Manchester. The learning experience is remarkable, with first rate lectures and practical teaching delivered by practising optometrists, ophthalmologists, and researchers at the cutting edge of development in vision and optometric study.

Sean Matthews

The parts of the course I like most are the practicals. They are great for getting to know others in your year, and the majority of the supervisors are practising opticians, so learning from them provides an invaluable insight into how it is done in practice. Having patients from the first year also vastly improves your clinical and communication skills, and the patients aren't as scary as you might think!

Sophie Godley

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .


You will learn in purpose-built facilities that include a dispensary, 16 bespoke optometric examination rooms, numerous dedicated specialist clinic rooms and dedicated laboratories for non-clinical practical sessions.

You will also have access to the University's other facilities for undergraduates .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: